Jed Pepper is a loyal friend. He does the best he can as a young teenager in a strange family situation. His father is spastic and, most of the time, abusive to his family, even though he pastors the local church in Defiance, Texas. Most of the time, Jed just wants to be a man and stand up to his father, but every time he does, he gets more punishment. His mother is too timid to do or say anything about Hap's abuse.
Jed finds solace in his relationship with a girl his age. Her name is Daisy Chance. She is the one who sought him out and started the friendship, because she is convinced that Jed will marry her one day. Jed becomes very dependent on her company, but when she mysteriously disappears from the town leaving only her shoe behind, Jed begins to blame himself for her disappearance. Why? Because he was the last one who was with her.
Daisy Chainis a plot based completely on raw characters. And they are good characters at that. They are imperfect and realistic, because they have personalities, something not many authors can seem to grasp.
The setting of the book is a small town called Defiance, yet the town is not full of hicks. Many authors have made this mistake when writing about their fictional small town, yet DeMuth has avoided this mistake and has created a town full of believable people.
Jed has a very interesting view on life. His mission is to be a man, and in the end, it's hard to tell whether he achieved his goal or not. But nevertheless, DeMuth gives the reader an interesting perspective on life by looking through his eyes.
Daisy is not your typical "little girl" character that has been overused so many times. She seems like a real person you could meet anywhere.
The only reason DeMuth got away with the highly original end this book has was by marketing it as a tragedy plot. This book appeals to the emotional crowd, to say the least. Though I do not consider myself one of them, I thoroughly enjoyed the original end. I praise DeMuth for her bravery.
Because of this, I see great things from this author in the future.